Honoring support: DSI recognizes individuals with awards

Several Columbus residents received special recognition for their advocacy to individuals with disabilities at Developmental Services Inc.’s 41st annual awards banquet Nov. 9 at The Commons. They were:

Bill Hadar: The longest-serving chief executive officer in DSI history, who retired in 2014 after 28 years, had a scholarship named after him. The Developmental Services Inc. William K. Hadar Scholarship Fund will be presented each year, and the inaugural scholarship will be awarded in the spring of 2017 to a high school student who demonstrates committed volunteer service, academic excellence, and community involvement. Merit for the scholarship will also include the student’s career ambitions toward community and civic service. The Scholarship Fund will be administered by the Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. Application details will be available in the near future.

Mylinda England: She received the Consumer Achievement Award for program, community and vocational success. England was recognized for advocating other individuals with disabilities as a member of the Client Council of Bartholomew County. She also is credited with assisting clients involved in DSI’s Education and Enrichment Program, giving tours to community guests, and reaching personal employment goals. E&E offers a wide menu of services including cooking and art classes, gardening, wellness, computer literacy, and recreation.

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Greta Baker: She received the Direct Service Professional Award for demonstrating service excellence for six years in the REACH Department. REACH, or Reaching Every Adult and Child’s Home, provides in-home or community-based respite services for families and care providers of individuals with disabilities. She has gained a reputation as a consummate professional and the “go to” trainer and role model for new REACH employees. Baker also takes clients who live in Bartholomew and Brown counties to cooking classes and to doctor’s appointments, and was cited for motivating DSI clients to be more health conscious, relatable and personable.

Sam Simmermaker: The legendary radio broadcaster and banquet emcee received a special service award for his tenure of presiding as the voice at DSI special events for more than 10 years. Simmermaker has been the voice of Columbus high school sports at WCSI radio for over five decades. Along the way, he’s earned the Sagamore of the Wabash Award and has been enshrined in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, the ISSA Hall of Fame and the IBA’s Fairbanks Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.

Lorraine Smith: She was recognized for her service on the DSI board of directors. Smith helped shape DSI policy while supporting individuals with disabilities through her expertise and advice.

Other award recipients were:

  • John McCauley Community Awareness Award: WTRE Radio in Greensburg
  • Volunteer and Service Award: Sandy and Doug Royer of Seymour
  • Professional of the Year: DSI Finance Department
  • Industry of the Year: Aisin U.S.A. MFG. Inc. in Seymour
  • Employer of the Year: Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders in Greensburg
  • Paul Roahrig Memorial Advocacy Award: Kim Opsahl of Carmel

DSI is a not-for-profit agency established in 1975 and provides services for children and adults with disabilities in 44 counties in central and southern Indiana, including Bartholomew County.